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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    2

    Default Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    I am interested adding HVAC and insulating an old family home built in 1828 in West Point Georgia. The house is one level and sits on brick piers. On the outside there is wood siding. On the inside there is wood lath cover with plaster. There is no other vapor or air barrier between the inside and outside. The bottoms of the walls are open to the elements. For the last 180 years the natural air movement through the wall has keep rot from developing. I am very concerned that if insulation is added, coupled with condensation from the heating and cooling, that moisture problems will develop in the walls. I don't want to remove all the old siding which is only slightly less dense that iron. I thought that doing poured open cell foam in the walls would be a good idea except for the potential moisture issues. Can I insulate this home without setting up a problem that will destroy it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    First question; Is there sheathing under the siding? If so.......how thick?

    If not......how thick is the siding? More description of the type of siding might also be helpful.

    Pics are always nice and frequently helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    open cell will let the moisture in you would need closed cell

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    2

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    No sheathing at all. The siding is composed of horizontal wood clapboard. Each piece is about 7/8th of an inch think.

    Closed cell foam would be good, but I think that would require the interior plaster and wood lath to be removed. I am not aware of a pourable closed cell foam that could be poured through holes in the interior walls. I would like to avoid ripping out the interior walls if possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGarland View Post
    Closed cell foam would be good, but I think that would require the interior plaster and wood lath to be removed. I am not aware of a pourable closed cell foam that could be poured through holes in the interior walls. I would like to avoid ripping out the interior walls if possible.
    I have the same problem, i am looking into Closed cell foam from www.tigerfoam.com
    it seems to be designed for just your (our) problem. it creates a vapour barrior, seals drafts, as well as excellent insulation (r7 per inch they say). I am interested to hear what others think of it...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    I'm in a similar/different situation. My 82 year old aunt lives in Orange TX and her home was recently flooded during Hurricane Ike. Having gone through Hurricane Katrina myself in Mississippi three years ago, I got in a soon as the authorities opened the roads and got all the carpeting cut out, generator cranked up and air conditioning running to dehumidify her house. While mopping up mud and using PineSol and following up with Scott's Liquid **** Mold control everywhere, we found that the flooring consisted of two types. One, old full dressed lumber 1x6 decking that "had" a foam cushion with carpet over it. The other is 1x6 full dress lumber with linoleum over it. The house was built in the 1930's and has full dress 4x6 sill beams that sit on concrete blocks 16 inches above the ground. There is full ventilation under the house (ie no crawl space) and partial skirting. There is no vapor barrier above or below the wood flooring where the carpet was. I assume the adhesive for the linoleum acts as a vapor barrier in the rooms with linoleum (kitchen, bath, & laundry room). The floor gets pretty chilly in the winter time too. I would like to hear from the experts on how to provide a vapor barrier and insulate this wood floor that is totally open underneath.
    Thanks,
    Neil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    I am exploring foam insulation options for an 1890 home. So far I have found a few closed cell pour foam insulation companies. usa insulation http://www.usainsulation.net/about-us/
    tripolymer
    http://www.tripolymer.com/tripolymer/index.html
    airtight insulation http://www.airtightinsulation.com

    I am in process of getting prices now. closed cell seems like the correct way to go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Insulating old home with no vapor barrier

    yes!!! you can have a "pour in" or "injection foam" installed that will insulate and stop your moisture problem. there is no need for a vapor barrier if you use Tripolmer foam. with the insulation in will stop the condensation problem. to really help you can have someone spray polyurathane on the underside and keep your floor warm or cool. i can get you in contact with a dealer in your area.
    justin
    you can contact me @
    abertke@frontiernet.net
    mike@injectionfoam.com

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